Pathanamthitta diocese offers monthly aid of ₹2,000 for families with four or more children
The welfare scheme for large families, first announced by the Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church, are now finding more takers in the Catholic Church.
The Pathanamthitta diocese of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on Saturday came up with a welfare scheme for couples who are married after the year 2000 and have four or more children. The scheme, announced through a circular issued by Samuel Mar Irenios, bishop of the diocese, seeks to offer a monthly financial assistance of ₹2,000, besides free pregnancy care for women delivering their fourth child onwards.
Priority in admissions
While the children from such families will be given priority in admissions to schools under the diocese, the members of such families will be accorded prominence in recruitments to the institutions run by it.
Beyond the material support, the diocese also offers to designate a priest exclusively for such families to take care of their spiritual needs, along with a nun as their animator. The head of the diocese will convene a union of such families and spend time with them once in a year.
The circular also speaks of a plan to operate a pro-life ministry for helping the couples prepare for more children and create awareness on the value of life among them.
Meanwhile, the circular also elaborates on the ill-effects of measures to control population and records concern over the negative growth rate of population recorded by Pathanamthitta. According to it, the district has registered a 3.12% drop in its overall population during the decade that ended in 2011, while a quarter of these people are senior citizens.
‘In all religions’
“Notwithstanding the leading positions in terms of education and culture, we, as residents of Pathanamthitta have been propagating a culture of death. It has caused a sharp drop in human resources while the decline in farmers turned cultivable lands into forests and set the stage of wildlife attacks. As many as 20% of the houses in Pathanamthitta now remain closed and we have also lost two Assembly segments,” noted the circular.
Emphasising the need to counter the effects of negative growth rate, the bishop also urged families across all religions and castes to prepare for receiving more children.
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